Posted: 2:05 am EST
On February 26, USDOJ announced the repatriation of stolen assets to the Kyrgyz Republic “from the corruption and theft of government funds” by the regime of second President of Kyrgyzstan, Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his youngest son, Maxim Bakiyev. Bakiyev was ousted from office in 2010 during a public revolt and according to the BBC, father and son had been granted political asylum in Belarus.
The U.S. Department of Justice repatriated stolen assets to the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic arising from the corruption and theft of government funds by the prior regime of Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his son Maxim Bakiyev. The return of the funds was celebrated yesterday in a ceremony in Bishkek, Kyrgyz Republic attended by Ambassador Alice G. Wells, the head of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs for the Department of State and U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic, Donald Lu.
These funds were identified in the United States in the criminal prosecution of Eugene Gourevitch for insider trading in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and a $6 million forfeiture order was subsequently entered by the Court. Following the conviction in the prosecution led by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, the Kyrgyz Government filed a Petition for Remission with the U.S. Department of Justice, Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, claiming that the funds subject to the forfeiture order traced back to monies stolen by Maxim Bakiyev from Kyrgyz state authorities and other banking institutions. On Oct. 4, 2018, the Department of Justice granted the Remission Petition.
So far, approximately $4.5 million of the funds have been collected and are approved for repatriation of the $6 million ordered to be forfeited will be repatriated. These funds will be deposited in the account of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic (“current account of the Central Treasury of the Ministry of Finance of the Kyrgyz Republic in the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic”). MLARS attorneys working in the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative assisted in the investigation linking these funds to the corruption offenses in Kyrgystan. Additional efforts will be made by the U.S. Government and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic to try to locate and return the remainder of the stolen assets in the forfeiture order.
Amb Wells met w/ #Kyrgyz Republic Deputy FM Madmarov & Finance Minister Jeenbaeva today to discuss strengthening US-Kyrgyz cooperation. With Fin Min Jeenbaeva, Amb Wells announced the return of $4.6M worth of assets stolen by the former Bakiyev regime to the Kyrgyz people. pic.twitter.com/c7dVICdyRq
— State_SCA (@State_SCA) February 25, 2019